Tenure review call criticised

Nicola Vallance
Nicola Vallance
A plea by Forest and Bird for the Government to halt tenure review proposals for two Mackenzie Basin pastoral leases has been described as "outrageous" by Bronwen Murray, one of the lessees involved.

Tenure review preliminary proposals for Maryburn and The Wolds were advertised by Land Information New Zealand in December.

Submissions close on March 4.

The preliminary proposals outlined restoring 4187ha of pastoral leasehold land to full Crown ownership as public conservation land, and freeholding 12,123ha to the leaseholders.

In a statement this week, Forest and Bird said it was concerned it would "scupper" collaborative work in the region that has just started.

Conservation advocate Nicola Vallance called on the Government to halt the reviews, to give the Mackenzie Sustainable Futures Trust a chance to "come up with solutions to land-use conflict in the area".

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean announced the trust last month, in a bid to resolve differences over the future of the Omarama and Mackenzie basins.

Forest and Bird wanted to be part of a "truly collaborative effort" that came up with creative solutions to problems in the Mackenzie, Ms Vallance said.

It did not make sense to set up a group to decide on a sustainable future for the basin and, at the same time, run a tenure review process without input from the group, she said.

Ms Murray, from The Wolds, said when contacted she would have "absolutely no trust" in Forest and Bird now.

The organisation was involved with an Environmental Defence Society-organised forum in Twizel where it was stated clearly that tenure review would continue.

"They didn't walk out," she said.

"If this is their idea of collaboration, we have no faith in them once again."

The Murrays have been involved in tenure review for eight and-a-half years and she estimated it had cost $100,000.


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